Michel B. Jordan went to the set of Black Panther feeling fairly familiar. He was working with director Ryan Coogler for the third time (Fruitvale StationCreed), more than any of his co-stars. Getting into the antagonistic character of Erik Killmonger, however, took Jordan to unfamiliar territory, as he tells Empire.

“It took me to a dark place. Honestly, I can’t really go through all I went through to get into it because I want to keep that close to me. But it stuck with me afterwards.”

The trailers have shown the makings of a couple of epic confrontations between Killmonger and T’Challa, a.k.a. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). For Jordan, even the action was all motivated by character.

“There’s a lot of physical moments and action sequences throughout this film that cause us to really challenge ourselves, and also fall deeper into character.”

There will be more from Jordan, his castmates, and Coogler in the new issue of Empire, which is out this Thursday. You can check out the subscriber-only cover here and the newsstand edition here.

Black Panther arrives in theaters February 16.